April Ryan

Longest-Serving African American Female White House Correspondent in History, White House Correspondent for TheGrio, and CNN Political Analyst
April Ryan Speaker
  • Trailblazing political journalist recognized as “Journalist of the Year” and a “Freedom of the Press” award winner
  • Longest-serving African American female White House correspondent reporting on urban issues from the White House
  • Brings underrepresented groups and overlooked issues to the forefront of American politics
  • Conducted exclusive interviews with Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, and more of our nation’s highest-ranking officials

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In an era of unparalleled polarization in politics and society, April Ryan represents an increasingly rare middle ground committed to upholding the integrity of fact-based journalism. With more than 25 years as a seasoned White House correspondent and political analyst, Ryan has the unique vantage point as the only Black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House — a position she has held since the Clinton era and spanning five presidential administrations. Her historic tenure as the longest-serving Black female White House correspondent has afforded her with incredible familiarity with the racial sensitivities, issues, and attendant political struggles of our nation’s past presidents. 

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Ryan brings the often-overlooked dynamic of underrepresented groups to the forefront of the conversation as she dissects transformative issues in politics and the news of the day. Called “an American treasure who always brings the truth,” Ryan draws from her experiences reporting firsthand on countless watershed moments in American history to share impartial analysis on headline-grabbing political and societal matters, as well as less-talked-about but nonetheless important issues with the potential to disrupt the American landscape.

Ryan is a stalwart of the White House press corps who is currently the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for TheGrio. Previously, Ryan served as the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks for 23 years. Throughout her illustrious career, she has investigated the issues reshaping American society in exclusive one-on-one interviews with our nation’s leaders, movers, and shakers, including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and many others.

In addition to TheGrio, she can be seen almost daily as a political analyst on CNN. She has also been featured in leading publications, including POLITICO, Essence, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Elle, and is the author of the award-winning book, The Presidency in Black and White, as well as At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White and Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House.  

A trailblazing figure in political journalism, Ryan’s accomplishments and contributions have been recognized with various awards and accolades. She is a recipient of the “Journalist of the Year” award by the National Association of Black Journalists, as well as the “Freedom of the Press” award winner by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the National Council of Negro Women’s Mary McCleod Bethune Trailblazer award. Ryan previously served on the board of the prestigious White House Correspondents Association — one of only three African Americans in the association’s 100-year history to do so, and is an esteemed member of the National Press Club. In 2019, she was inducted as an honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Ryan is a Baltimore native who graduated from Morgan State University and gives back to her community by serving as a mentor to aspiring journalists and assisting in the development of up-and-coming broadcasters.

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Speaker Video

theGrio Celebrates April Ryan's 25 Years of White House Reporting

Commencement Speaker April Ryan

A Seat at the Table: A More Inclusive View of Politics. A 25+ year veteran of the White House press corps and the longest-serving African American female White House correspondent in history, April Ryan brings the much-needed, often-overlooked diverse lens into American politics. She possesses incredible understanding of the behind-the-scenes political and societal issues faced by America’s past presidents and blends this insight with her experiences covering five administrations and conducting exclusive interviews with our nation’s leaders to lead an impartial exploration into what’s really going on in Washington, D.C. and how today’s top issues might impact the future. Committed to presenting the facts, Ryan helps audiences navigate through fake news and disinformation as she presents a more representative view of America politics, global affairs, and what’s at stake for the future.

Current Events: What Today’s Headlines Tell Us About Tomorrow. With more than 25 years as a leader, trailblazer, and history maker in journalism, April Ryan, White House correspondent for TheGrio, has covered the most important news stories of our time — from the Trump presidency and Russia to Colin Kaepernick and the Central Park Five. In this talk, she dives deep into the headlines that will redefine who we are as a nation and brings to light lesser-known issues that are positioned to have a great impact on our society in years to come. Pleasantly candid and remarkably plugged in to national and global affairs, Ryan leads a conscious examination of what’s happening in the world today and the responsibility of the press when it comes to keeping the people informed

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